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UAE mulls minibus ban by 2021

 

DUBAI – Minibuses may be completely banned on UAE roads by 2021 if a Federal Traffic Council (FTC) recommendation is approved.

The FTC has recommended that minibuses used to transport students be banned by September 2021, followed by a ban of all passenger minibuses by January 2023.

The FTC’s recommendation to the Ministry of Interior came after reports that minibuses were involved in 15 percent of deadly traffic accidents in the UAE.

There are currently 50,000 minibuses operating in the UAE. The buses are designed to carry 14 people but are sometimes overloaded.

“Minibuses are not equipped with the basic safety features that most cars have,” said Major-General Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen, FTC Chairman, adding that the safety of passengers on minibuses has long been a concern for authorities.

“These vans usually carry some 14 passengers who are seated too close to each other. And if they get involved in accidents, chances are there will be more victims,” he said.

Authorities have made it mandatory for minibuses to have a device that limits their speed to a maximum of 100kmph.

Last year, the Abu Dhabi Police also required 15-seater minibuses to be fitted with anti-lock braking systems, seat belts and head restraints. ICA/Expat Media

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